You’re in college! Congratulations! I’m going to be the first one to tell you that no one cares.

Don’t take that the wrong way, going to college is great, but you know what’s not great? Failing college because you didn’t study. Proud family members feel silly after sending you off into your adult life only to receive you back into their basements after a few expensive semesters of apathy. So now that you’re in college, you will have to try hard to succeed. That starts with studying, but if studying were easy, I wouldn’t be writing this article and you wouldn’t be reading it. The fact is, everyone is different and there are methods that work for some that don’t work for others. There are a million tip-articles on the Internet for how to study well (including, but not limited to: reading textbooks, taking notes, going to class, color-coding in your Lisa Frank binder, etc.). This is not one of those posts.

I am going to share with you some real-life tips for studying that, let’s be real, may work for you and may not work for you. But you’re in college. Life is about experimentation, right?

It takes a dedicated/intelligent individual to pursue a physics degree. In order to survive, you’ll need real study tips, rather than adages about reading notes and forming study groups; you should know about those methods by now.

Tried and True Study Tips for Physics Majors

The physics prodigy will have no problem keeping track of letters and numbers that represent abstract concepts like “mass” and “time”, but the rest of us may need some guidance. Some tips:

If you are not good at math, give up physics while you are still only a few thousand dollars in debt.

  1. Assign physics equations to objects/situations in your real life. If F=ma, determine how hard the bowling ball you’re cradling will smash the pins that are mocking you at the end of the lane.
  2. Only study when you are in your top mental form, and try to do so for 10 hours at a time. Other, lesser majors might find it easier to study with a looser mind, but physics majors need all their faculties to tackle centuries old concepts that govern our lives everyday. If you don’t understand a concept after 10 hours of intense study, refer to tip number one above.
  3. Because physics relies heavily on memorization and a keen understanding of sprawling concepts, keep some Korean ginseng and ginkgo biloba in your cabinets. These natural supplements have a sharper affect on your brain chemistry than coffee, and will not hospitalize you like energy drinks
  4. This is true for almost any course of study, but keeping up with the coursework is never so important as it is with physics. The only comparable analogues are language degrees because they are also set up in an incremental way. That is, everything you learn will be used for the next lesson.

Physics is not a simple field of study, but neither are the forces that govern our physical world. Obviously you should follow whatever system works best for you, but the incorporation of these real life tips may save you time in the long run and prevent years of “finding out the hard way.”


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